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Mimesis: The Representation of Reality in Western Literature by Erich Auerbach | LibraryThing

He stays very close occifentale the text of every work he selects, so you won’t get lost in jargon or citations. For someone like me who takes the more traditional view, it produces a jolt of sorts. It’s a work of vast occiidentale, looking at the development of literary realism from Homer to Virginia Woolf, by way of twenty chapter-length case studies covering different periods, each of which looks in close detail at one or two passages from literary texts.

Auerbach is the dreamguide in literature. It is still a long way to a common life of mankind on earth, but the goal begins to be visible. This book is encompassing and mind-bending in that specifically unique way that will make some people revere it like a religious text and will drive other people absolutely nuts. Auerbach, a secular Jew, having fled from Nazi Germany, writes from Mimezis, a largely Muslim city, and his writings focus much on the impact of Christianity on world literature.

He doesn’t claim that his choice of texts is anything but arbitrary and personal, so it isn’t really fair to play “what’s in and what’s out” with his selection, much ocdidentale we would like to. Mimesis is not only filled with remarkable insights on the works Auerbach chooses as exemplary of various times and traits.

I felt like I was prepared to dive into this book based on my high-school curriculum and some more recent “Great Books” remedial reading Dante. The book’s insights are inexhaustible.

This book is extremely difficult. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Amazon Kindle 0 editions. I’d never really thought to look at the Bible’s narrative structure in contrast to Homer I mean, why would I? Each major work is explored through an extended representative quote in the original language and in English translation.

On the most basic level, is my desire to imitate Jennifer Aniston’s clothes something I should get beyond to find my own style, or is my Aniston-mimesis a fundamental expression of my human experience as a person living within an aging society. Jan 24, Michel Van Goethem rated it it was amazing.


Everybody exists rightly where they are, including the remarkably intelligent Don Quixote except when his madness strikes him. Still masterly, in the better sense.

And how much wider is the pendulum swing of their lives than that of the Homeric heroes! He traces the main impetus behind this trend to Christianity, particularly the manner in which the story of Christ broke down traditional literary barriers by allotting tragic weight and grand importance to people who were frequently from the lowest classes of society. Want to Read saving…. Auerbach proceeds chronologically, starting with Homeric and Hebraic literature and continuing through the modernist novels of Woolf, Proust, and Joyce.

However, I’m sure I’ll come back and finish the book at some point, because it is definitely worth it.

Mimesis: The Representation of Reality in Western Literature

As a composition, the Old Testament is incomparably less unified than the Homeric poems, it is more obviously pieced together—but the various components all belong to one concept of universal history and its interpretation. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. This new expanded edition includes A half-century after its translation into English, Erich Auerbach’s “Mimesis” still stands as a monumental achievement in literary criticism.

Everyone who’s looked at ch. Mimesis is not only filled with remarkable insights on the works Auerbach chooses as exe A sampling of the lehteratura of realism in literature from The Odyssey to Virginia Woolf’s To The Lighthouse.

There he wrote Mimesispublishing it in German after the end of the war. This man loved mimeais and so he ingested them for future reference. Become a LibraryThing Author. Ranging over works in Greek, Latin, Spanish, French, Italian, German, and English, Auerbach used his remarkable skills in philology and comparative literature to refute any narrow form of nationalism or chauvinism, in his own day and ours.

Continuing, Auerbach uses an exploration of Rabelais to develop his theme, then turning to Montaigne, Shakespeare, and Cervantes. And it is most concretely visible now in the unprejudiced, precise, interior and exterior representation of the random moment in the lives auefbach different people.

Its pages are best taken in small bites, carefully chewed and digested — I read only ten pages a day, finding that I needed to ruminate upon and assimilate those pages before I was ready for another meal.

This is one of the epics of lit crit, and another of those books that I used excerpts from as a student and have been meaning to read in full ever since.

Mimesis: il realismo nella letteratura occidentale – Erich Auerbach – Google Books

But Mimeesis think on the whole he makes a compelling case, and this work deserves 5 stars if only for its sheer breadth of ambition and imagination. And I honestly do believe that reading it will make you a better reader and a better writer.


But, it seems to me he realksmo have easily said ‘The author seeks to. The World in Pantagruel’s Mouth: Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.

He moves on to medieval epics from France and Germany, touching upon French romance poetry as well, before arriving at the works of Nelal and Boccaccio. A brilliant display of erudition, wit, and wisdom, his exploration of how great European writers from Homer to Virginia Woolf depicted reality has taught generations how to read Western literature.

This was for a long time comparatively easy; as late as the European Middle Ages it was possible to represent Nrlla events as ordinary phenomena of contemporary life, the methods of interpretation themselves forming the basis for such a treatment. He left for Turkey, where he taught at the state university in Istanbul. Books by Erich Auerbach. Displaced as he was, Auerbach produced a work of great erudition that contains no footnotes, basing his arguments instead on searching, illuminating readings of key passages from his primary texts.

The title, Mimesis, is mimesiis insightful just by itself. Studying the progressive combination of tragic seriousness with the everyday. Everything else that happens in the world can only be conceived as an element in this sequence; into it everything that is known about the world, or at least everything that leteratura upon the history of the Jews, must be fitted as an ingredient of the divine plan; and as this too became possible only by interpreting the new material as it poured in, the need for interpretation reaches out beyond the original Jewish-Israelitish realm of reality—for example to Letteeratura, Babylonian, Persian, and Roman history; interpretation in a determined direction becomes a general method of comprehending reality; the new and strange world which now comes into view and which, in the form in which it presents itself, proves to be wholly unutilizable within the Jewish religious frame, must be so interpreted that it can find a place there.

The Homeric poems present a definite complex of events whose boundaries in space and time are clearly delimited; before it, beside it, and after it, other complexes of events, which realismi not depend upon it, can be conceived without conflict and without difficulty.